Samuel Lewis's Narrative

Topographical Dictionary of England 1859

CUDDINGTON (ST. MARY), a parish, in the union of EPSOM, Second division of the hundred of COPTHORNE and EFFINGHAM, W. division of SURREY, ¾ of a mile (N. N. E.) from Ewell; containing 158 inhabitants. This place is noticed in Domesday book under the appellation of Codintone, and anciently gave name to a family supposed to have been a branch of the Wateviles: Sir Simon de Codington was knight of the shire in the reign, of Edward III., and the family held the manor till the 16th century. The living, now extinct, was a vicarage, valued in the king's, books at £7.12. 3½.: the tithes are impropriate, and have been commuted for £381.15. The church has been demolished. The celebrated palace of Nonsuch, built by Henry VIII., was situated in the parish.-See EWELL.

EPSOM (ST. MARTIN), a parish and market-town, and the head of a union, in the First division of the hundred of COPTHORNE and EFFINGHAM. W. division of SURREY, 16 miles (E. N. E.) from Guildford, and 15 (S. W. by S.) from London, on the road to Worthing; containing 3533 inhabitants. This place, by the Saxons called Ebbisham, from which its present name is derived, is delightfully situated in a sheltered vale, on the western verge of Banstead Downs; and from the salubrity of the air, and the estimation in which its medicinal waters were formerly held, it became the resort of many families, and rapidly increased in the number of its buildings and the extent of its population. The parish comprises by estimation 4340 acres, of which 2500 are inclosed and under cultivation, and the remainder open common and down: the soil on one side is a strong clay, and on the other chalk and flint; the surface is gently undulated. The houses of the town are in general handsome and well built: gas was introduced in 1840. On the downs, which command an extensive and interesting view is an excellent course where races are held annually, commencing on' the Tuesday, and continuing till the end of the week preceding Whitsuntide; the Derby stakes are run for on Wednesday, which is the principal day, and the Oaks on Friday. The grand stand, a commodious edifice, was completed in 1830, the expense being estimated at £13,890, raised on 1000 £20 shares: the interior comprises several rooms for refreshment, and a saloon 101 feet long and 38 feet wide; the whole building is 126 feet long. and arranged for the accommodation of 5000 persons, with seats on the roof for 2500. A second meeting takes place in October, and much of the support of the town arises from the great influx of strangers at the time of the races. A railway was opened from Croydon to this place in May, 1847; and an act has been passed, authorising a continuation of it to Godalming, Petersfield, and Portsmouth. The market is on Wednesday; and there is a fair on the 25th of July, for cattle and toys. The county magistrates hold a petty-session for the division on the first Monday in every month; and the town is within the jurisdiction of a court at Kingston, for the recovery of debts to any amount. The powers of the county debt-court of Epsom, established in 1841, extend over the registration-district of Epsom. A court baron is held in April, and a court leet in October.

The LIVING is a discharged vicarage, valued in the- king's books at,£8. 9. 9½.; net. income, £304; patrons, the Family of Speer; impropriator, F. Parkhurst, Esq. The church was rebuilt in 1825, at an expense of £7000, the style of, the ancient structure being in most instances carefully preserved; it contains several neat monuments, among which is one of the Rev. John Parkhurst; author of the Hebrew and Greek Lexicon. On Epsom common is a small church, erected in 1845, by subscription, on ground given by J. T. Briscoe, Esq., lord of the manor: the patronage is in the Vicar of Epsom. There are three places of worship for dissenters. In 1694, John Brayne bequeathed £500, to be invested in the purchase of land, three-fifths of the produce to be applied to the instruction of children. An almshouse for twelve aged widows was erected by the parishioners on land given for that purpose by John Livingstone, about the year 1103: Samuel Cane, Esq., in 1786 bequeathed £500 three per cent. consols.; and in 1814 Langley Blackenbury, Esq., left £300 in the same stock, to be distributed in bread and coal to the inmates. Mary Dundas left a copyhold now producing £30 per annum, to be laid out in coal for aged widows; and there are also charitable bequests for the relief of the poor generally. The union of Epsom comprises 15 parishes or places, and contains a population of 17,251; the union-house was erected in 1838, at an expense of £9000, and can accommodate 300 persons. On the south-east side of the parish is a purgative spring, discovered in 1618, and said to be the first of its kind met with in England.

EWELL (ST. MARY), a parish, in the union of EPSOM, partly in the First division. of the hundred of REIGATE, E. division. but chiefly in the First division of the hundred of COPTHORNE and EFFINGHAM, W. division, of SURREY, 5½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Kingston; containing, with the liberty of Kingswood, 1867 inhabitants. This place in Domesday book written Et-well, signifying "at the spring," was anciently of more importance than it is at present; and about half-way between it and Cheam, within the parish of Cuddington, was the splendid palace of Nonsuch, erected by Henry VIII., and taken down in the reign of Charles II. There are still some remains of that celebrated edifice, which, for costly magnificence and splendid decoration, was, as its name implied, unequalled by any building of the kind. On elevated ground formerly within the park, is an artificial mound about half an acre in extent, surrounded by a wall having circular bastions at the four angles, with intervening curtains, and in the centre of which stood the banqueting-house, a building about 25 feet square, and three stories high: the approach to the mound was by three double flights of steps, some of which are still visible. These remains of the wall and bastions are now within the pleasure-grounds of Mr. Monro, whose grand-uncle, T. Calverley, Esq., erected a. mansion in the ancient style of English architecture near their site, named Ewell Castle.

The PARISH comprises 2391a. 1r. 19p. of arable and pasture, in nearly equal portions: the soil is chalk, gravel, and clay, alternated with sand; and the surface, though generally level, is diversified with hills of moderate elevation. Brick earth of excellent quality is found in abundance. The village is situated on the high road to Dorking and Worthing, and is well paved, and amply supplied with water. There are some gunpowder and flour mills, employing about 50 men, and set in motion by the Kingsmill, a stream which has its source in the parish. and falls into the Thames at a place called Hog's mill. Kingston. The market, held on Thursday, has long been discontinued; the fairs are on May 12th, for cattle, and October 29th, a very large mart for sheep, at which from 30,000 to 40,000 are frequently sold. The parish is within the jurisdiction of a court at Kingston, for the recovery of debts to any amount; and courts leet and baron are held at Michaelmas. The LIVING is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income. £277; patron and impropriator, the Rev. Sir George Glyn. Bart.: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1801. The church is an ancient structure, and contains several brasses and handsome monuments, particularly an altar-tomb in the south side of the chancel, of veined marble, on which is a beautifully sculptured figure in white marble, of Sir William Lewen, Knt., in his robes as lord mayor of London. The first stone of a new parish church was laid in June, 1847. A district church was built in the liberty of Kingswood, in 1835. In the grounds of the rectory-house, several fossils and coins have been found within the last few years. There is a place of worship for Independents. A national school, established in 1816, is partly supported by an endowment of £22 per annum; and Mrs. Fendall ancient edifice; the chancel is parted from the nave, and appropriated as a school for girls. On some of the hills are supposed to have been Roman intrenchments, from the discovery of arms, spurs, and helmets there.